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Sun Shines As Crowds Flock To Safeguard Coaches’ 90th Anniversary Charity Open Day

Published on: 30 Mar, 2014
Updated on: 31 Mar, 2014

People from Guildford, as well as many from far and wide, flocked to Safeguard Coaches’ depot in Ridgemount on Saturday (March 29) to enjoy an excellent charity open day.

Directors of Safeguard Coaches with the Mayor of Guildford, Diana Lockyer-Nibbs unveil new decals (writing) on one of the buses to commemorate its 90th anniversary.

Directors of Safeguard Coaches with the Mayor of Guildford, Diana Lockyer-Nibbs, unveil new decals (writing) on one of the buses to commemorate its 90th anniversary.

The sun shone on the event that celebrated the 90th anniversary of the firm as well as raising money for the British Heart Foundation and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The fundraisers from the Guildford and Godalming branch of the British Heart Foundation.

The fundraisers from the Guildford and Godalming branch of the British Heart Foundation.

Bus enthusiasts were out early waiting at the gates of the Safeguard HQ for the opening at 10am. They then rushed in, taking lots of photos of the current fleet of vehicles as well as some vintages buses on view.

Plenty of photo opportunities for bus fans.

Plenty of photo opportunities for bus fans.

Lots of local people came too, enjoying the party atmosphere that featured a jazz band, disco, barbecue and beer tent, along with stalls and stands as well as a bouncy castle and face painting for children.

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Brian Holt and Wayne McShane from the Park Barn & Westborough Community Assocation, whose committee members manned the tombola stand on behalf of Safeguard Coaches.

There were stands and displays by the Cobham Bus Museum (based at Brooklands Museum), the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group, while the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association ran the tombola stall for Safeguard.

The Mayor gives her speech. Sitting in the wheelchair is Alex, who came out of hospital specially to attend the event.

The Mayor gives her speech. Sitting in the wheelchair is Alex, who came out of hospital specially to attend the event.

The Mayor of Guildford, Diana Lockyer-Nibbs, formally opened the fun day and gave a speech that praised the local firm that is still in the same family ownership, the Newmans, since its beginnings in 1924.

Laurie James (left) signs copies of his new book.

Laurie James (left) signs copies of his new book.

Author Laurie James signed copies of his new book all about the history of Safeguard.

The new London Routmaster bus - a sight you probably won't see again in Guildford!

The new London Routmaster bus – a sight you probably won’t see again in Guildford!

There were special free bus trips from Guildford railway station, bus station, cathedral and the new Onslow park and ride site. Vehicles included a vintage Green Line bus and one of the new London Routemaster buses. The bus enthusiasts were kept busy photographing these.

The vintage Green Line bus that provided free rides around Guildford.

The vintage Green Line bus that provided free rides around Guildford. Picture by Mike Ellis.

The managing director of Safeguard Coaches, Andrew Halliday, was delighted with the number of people who attended. He said: “What more could you want? Lots of people of all ages, enjoying a great community event and helping to raise money for worthwhile causes.

“I’d also also like to thank Alex, a girl who has been in hospital recently, but who came along today. She made a supreme effort despite of her illness to be with us for our 90th anniversary day.”

Click here to see previous story ahead of the event, with readers’ comments, and then here for a review of the new excellent book on Safeguard’s history.

A few more photos from the day…

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The chairman of the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association, Wayne McShane, has a go cleaning his own bus! Visitors paid 50p to scrub the vehicle, all proceeds going to charity. Wayne has had the bus named after him (there is a plaque inside) in recognition of his and his association’s support of Safeguard’s bus routes in the north Guildford area.

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The cutting of the 90th anniversary cake.

Crowds enjoyed Safeguard's charity open day. The final amount raised will be reported on the Guildford Dragon. Keep a look out.

Crowds enjoyed Safeguard’s charity open day. The final amount raised will be reported on the Guildford Dragon. Keep a look out. This picture by Mike Ellis.

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